Jill and Garys story

Jill and Garys Story

We have been watching these Barn Owls in our back field for three and a half years now. First they were in a palm tree directly behind our house. They had two owlets fledge. Later, neighbors cut down the tree. Next, they moved to the palm tree to the south of our yard. That summer we got a really windy day and 5 babies fell out and died before we found them. Two survived and fledged. That is when we put up an owl box on a pole. I think they did not use it as they were already established in the tree. This last summer 2010, four babies fell and died. We knew there was one remaining baby in the nest because we could hear it in the tree, so every single night we went outside to watch the parents bring it food. One night, we saw Willow fly straight to the ground at dusk. We walked out into the field and there was the baby on the ground. At the time, we did not know that owls can climb back up into the tree. We also knew there was a neighborhood cat and coyotes that prowl the field, so Gary ran and got gloves and picked it up. We put him in our yard trying to figure out what to do! He was so ready to fly but was not able to gain the height needed. Meanwhile, Bear Grylls and Willow were watching from the neighbor’s roof next door. We decided to let them help the baby (at least he wasn't in the field with the coyotes). The next morning we woke up to find him at our back door! There was a half of a gopher in the yard, so we knew the parents fed him that night. We knew we couldn't just leave him there, so we put him in our garden shed and removed the back window. He slept on the cot in there all day! We positioned a camera in the window and watched the parents bring him food that night. The next night he climbed out the window and was miraculously in his own tree the next morning! He stayed in the nest about 3 days and then started taking practice flights from palm tree to palm tree. He would often fly too low and have to climb up the tree trunk to get high enough to do it again. We stood watching quietly in our yard, inwardly cheering him on as he got better and better! We almost cried when he mastered flying. He continued to beg loudly for food for another month and then he was gone! Now I cried.

Bear Grylls and Willow continued to live in that tree until about 2 months ago, when huge chunks of palm fronds fell out of the tree, exposing the nice perch they used for their nest. Now that it was uninhabitable, they moved to the palm tree on the north side of our house. That is when we built the owl box from the Hungry Owl Project's plans because it was apparent they weren't going to use the one we had on a pole (plus we wanted to double our chances!) Now while Bear Grylls would hang out in the palm tree, he could not miss the new box.... it was right in front of him. We could hear them mating in the tree so I was sure they had already chosen their new site and wouldn't move. But we got some heavy rains that soaked their palm tree and I think that beautiful new box nestled in the pine tree was looking pretty warm and cozy because one morning four days after Christmas we woke up to find the two of them snugly sleeping inside . One week later, they had their first egg!

Although extremely grateful that we had barn owls living on both sides of our house, I prayed for owls to come live in our box! So I give God the glory for these owls! They are His creatures anyways!

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Caption Contest!

Enter to win this stamp by Jill by naming a caption for this photo! Deadline is March 4th. Email your entries to imburner.ge@gmail.com.
Winner will be announced on March 7th! Good luck!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Rainbow Bridge

We have lost an owl . Thank you Vacadude for this beautiful drawing of "The Rainbow Bridge"

And a thank you goes out to our many chatters today with their well wishes, thank you for being a part of all of this!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brer Rabbit and Jill

In memory of Brer Rabbit, Jills 19 year old cat. This was taken at Big Bear Lake.

#7 Hatch Twig is Hatched!

Thank you Tresbien for this fantastic shot of the 7 babies! Twig was hatched this morning at 6:20am PST

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#6 Sparrow has hatched!

Thank you Melissa60 for this awesome screen shot!!!

"His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Noelle Swallows a Mouse!!!!

Noelle swallows a mouse whole!!! You can see the tail and leg sticking out of her mouth!!!! Yahoo its a milestone!!!!! Thank you couleedam for this great shot!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Name a baby!

Help us name Willow's owlet #5. Please send your name suggestions to willowyview@gmail.com Jill and Gary will choose a name from all of the entries. The winning entry will receive a set of Quirkeys, which are key covers with owl faces! Deadline for entry is Friday at midnight PST!

Sound Check!

Gary and I attend a Monday night bible study at our church. We arrive about an hour early as I make the coffee and Gary prints out the notes. So our very cool teacher always puts Willow up on the big screen for about 45 minutes until class starts. Last night right before class started Willow stood up and showed everyone the owlets! So we start class and about ten minutes into it there was this VERY loud noise and everyone was looking around wondering what it could possibly be? Apparently, they took Willow off the screen but left the sound on and Bear had come in! Need I say more! Jill

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sweetpeeps is Here! #2 hatched!

Thank you Tresbien for this excellent screen shot of the 2 babies!

Thank you hundon for this great shot!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vacadudes Noelle!

Got Owls?

This is what Jill and Gary got for their truck today!!!!

Our New Baby Noelle is here!

A picture sent to us from Lone! Who was gracious to be up at that hour and help us moderate like old times! Thank you Lone!!!!! What a great shot!

She was born on 2/5/11 at 4:50 am! Noelle is her name! Thanks goes to Tresbien for this great picture!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Owlets in a Palm Tree

Jill and Gary have been watching Willow and Bear for about 3 and a half years and sent in this picture:

"Three and a half years ago.... two babies..... when we first started watching them. I would say that I am 99% sure these are Willow's owlets.That was the original palm tree... now cut down."